25. Mai 2021

Interview with James Herbert about an investment by a subsidiary of Mediclinic International's ("Mediclinic") in hystrix medical AG ("hystrix").

Group Executive: Procurement at Mediclinic and board observer at hystrix medical AG


James Herbert joined Mediclinic in 1997 and held positions in Clinical Engineering for 12 years. His duties included hospital technical support, audits, training, developing planned maintenance policies, and managing life cycle costing of medical equipment. During 2009, he made a career shift to head up Mediclinic Southern Africa’s central capital procurement department responsible for 52 hospitals.


Since 2013, James has held the position of Group Procurement Executive for Mediclinic International. His responsibilities include all direct and indirect spend categories with the main aim to drive synergies and savings across the business divisions in Switzerland, Southern Africa and the UAE. 


James is the Chair of the Board of a subsidiary company called Medical Innovations. This company is based in South Africa and manufactures and imports and exports medical devices and surgical products.


Before joining Mediclinic, James held positions in technical management and clinical engineering in both the public and private sectors.  He obtained a National Higher Diploma in Electrical Engineering at the Free State University of Technology in 1993 and he completed a master’s degree in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the Salford University in Manchester. Over the years he presented papers at several local and international healthcare events.


James is based in Stellenbosch, South Africa and is married with two daughters aged 18 and 21. He loves mountain biking and playing golf.


 Why did Mediclinic invest in hystrix?

Part of Mediclinic's strategy is to reduce the cost of healthcare. The platform of hystrix makes an important contribution to achieve significant progress in this respect.

Mediclinic's strategy includes an increased focus on resource allocation for digital transformation, growth and innovation. This includes selective and well-structured investments in start-up companies where Mediclinic's operational expertise and infrastructure can benefit the start-up company.


What does Mediclinic expect from this collaboration?

Mediclinic is focused on effective and efficient sourcing of products. Complementing their existing cost-saving efforts, the partnership with hystrix plays a valuable role in:

(1) Time savings and resource optimisation in procurement processes. Mediclinic expects to benefit from the potential cost and time savings achieved by interacting on an efficient and digital contracting platform; and


(2) Cost optimisation on products not yet prioritised through existing agreements and relationships.


What advantages can healthcare providers achieve in terms of their procurement cost structure if they use tools such as the hystrix platform as an additional digital procurement channel?

As a healthcare provider, consider in consultation with users which products from your portfolio require personal support and which products are self-explanatory or were once complex but have now become established and therefore no longer require physical on-site support. All products that do not require explanation can be procured on a digital platform like hystrix.


It is no longer necessary to obtain quotes from different suppliers for a product, consolidate and evaluate these quotes, or meet with the respective suppliers to discuss products that do not require explanation. For these products, there are essentially always the same four parameters that the contracting parties agree on: quantity, continuity, price per unit and contracting period. These four parameters can be agreed upon easily and quickly via hystrix.


By using such an online information channel, you optimise operational efficiency on both sides, e.g., through fewer meetings and reduced administrative work, and enabling suppliers to optimise their distribution cost structure so that they can ultimately meet a buyer's price expectations while they are able to maintain their profitability.


Does Mediclinic have insight into the prices other healthcare providers pay for their products?

No, Mediclinic does not have access to competitive or proprietary data. The only data that is accessible is that which is and will be available to other purchasing users.


Will Mediclinic have access to better deals than other hospitals?

No, pricing will be dictated by the market and the structure of the intended transactions. All procuring users will see the same vendors and prices for a basket or single product on hystrix. It is ultimately up to the procuring users to decide which offer best suits their needs. Any changes to prices as a result of the bid rounds conducted are solely at the discretion of the vendors and are generally considered in relation to the total order value, contract term, and quantities required for each product.


Will Mediclinic have some say in deciding on new functionality / changes in the hystrix platform?

hystrix considers the recommendations of Mediclinic regarding future product development equally with the input of all other users from the hystrix community. Mediclinic does not have the ability to dictate a decision about hystrix's business or its products. Mediclinic does not receive any benefits beyond those already received by the other buyers or sellers trading on the platform.


Will Mediclinic’s existing and previous suppliers receive preferential treatment on the platform?

Only in such a way as they are invited by hystrix at an early stage to make their portfolio available digitally.  But any supplier can contact hystrix directly at any time and  agree the upload of their portfolio.  The sooner the shift to digital, the sooner benefits can be realised through long-term successful collaboration for all stakeholders.

25. November 2020

Eine Plattform beschleunigt den Markt für Medizinbedarf

Warum wir unseren Hauptsitz in Langenthal haben und wie wir einen weiteren grossen Härtetest meisterten, erfahrt ihr im zweiseitigen Artikel von berncapitalarea. Das Magazin für Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Leben im Kanton Bern, Schweiz. (DE / FR / EN)

18.November 2020

Digital supplier relations as gamechanger - the online shift in the procurement of medical goods

The online channel is becoming increasingly important for supplier interaction. If neglected, it will be impossible to cope with time and cost pressure in the long term.

04.September 2020

Mediclinic International and Hirslanden Venture Capital AG invest in hystrix Series A capital raise

hystrix medical AG closes fundraising with international investors and supports hospitals’ PPE supply during COVID-19 pandemic.

30. March 2020

The right product, at the right time, in the right place – 150 hospitals onboard!

During the month of March, when we in Switzerland were literally overwhelmed by the effects of COVID-19, hystrix medical was able to bring together a large number of our users with regard to their urgent product demand as well as delivery capacity. They were thus able to experience directly the massive advantages of a central hub for market information in the healthcare sector, both in procurement and in sales. The right product, at the right time, in the right place. The Handelszeitung reported on this in its article of 7 May.

12. February 2020

Supplier Version 2.0 LIVE

The new and improved supplier interface has been released today. The interface incorporates critical feedback compiled during the pilot testing phase of the marketplace from our supplier community. Suppliers are now able to efficiently enter into digital negotiation rounds with healthcare providers and provide whole-basket prices, as well as bundled offers. They are also able to quickly communicate through the tool with requesting hospitals and digitally sign contracts for the purchase of individual or multiple products. Further releases are planned for April and May that will deliver onboarded suppliers with autonomous view and change access rights for their uploaded products in their portfolio. The hystrix team would like to thank all those suppliers that participated in the various workshops over recent months that have resulted in this simple to use and effective interface.

15. January 2020

hystrix medical crosses the 100,000 product level!

Anyone purchasing products on a marketplace will confirm, it is not the pure number of products that we list on hystrix that is important. Rather it is ensuring that we have the relevant products that our healthcare providers are looking for every day. That’s why the achievement of this milestone is all the more important. At hystrix, we are concentrating our supplier outreach on those suppliers that actively sell within Switzerland today and are requested to be present on the marketplace by Swiss hospitals. Our suppliers are therefore a mixture of local and international manufacturers and distributors that together are able to ensure we have ever-improving basket fill-rates.

October 9th, 2019

The hystrix medical marketplace 2.0 is now LIVE

The hystrix medical marketplace has reached another milestone. In just under a year since go-live of the first version, we have overhauled the minimum viable product solution to a new and enhanced version that puts our partners’ needs right at the core. Hospital partners are able to quickly and easily search for products, to plan demand, to compare prices & suppliers, negotiate and to conclude contracts. Whilst this release is an important milestone for hystrix medical, we are far from finished. More functions and solutions to the problems faced by suppliers and healthcare providers are coming soon.

July 10th, 2019

hystrix medical raises CHF 2.6 million in pre-Series A financing

hystrix medical has successfully completed a second seed financing round worth CHF 1.7 million. This increases the pre-Series A financing to CHF 2.6 million. With the additional capital, hystrix medical intends to further develop its marketplace software and explore the potential for international expansion.

June 5th,  2019

hystrix medical secures EU funding of 50,000 euros

The EU is thus sending a first positive signal regarding the transferability and innovative strength of our marketplace. hystrix medical has received 50,000 Euros from the EU Commission as part of its Horizon 2020 program. The funds were awarded within the category SME Instrument. The SME instrument is aimed at all types of European SMEs with a high innovation and growth potential.

May 15th, 2019

A big thank you to Claude Bürki for portraying so well our vision and solution in the latest edition of arzt|spital|pflege magazine.

April 5th,  2019

Zwölf neue Arbeitsplätze

A big thank you to Oberaargauer Zofinger Tagblatt for the insightful article about our relocation. hystrix medical AG is honoured to “connect the dots” together with the new neighbours in Langenthal!​

2 April 2019

hystrix on the radio: Lisa Brudermann of Radio 32 gives an insight on the workplaces of the future in Langenthal.

29 March 2019

hystrix medical AG has moved its headquarters to Langenthal! You are welcome to visit us at Bahnhofstrasse 47 ,where we would be pleased to provide you with further information about the marketplace.

18 February 2019

Online-Shopping für Spitäler

Read the latest press coverage about hystrix medical AG! Thanks to Henning Hölder at Handelszeitung for your informative article on our start up. (Photography by Paolo Dutto)

4 February 2019

Successful start for medtech marketplace hystrix

Thank you for the thorough coverage, hystrix medical AG is off to a great start in 2019! Follow the link and lets connect the dots together:

15 January 2019

Successful start for medtech marketplace hystrix

Due to the growth of the hystrix medical team, our Zurich office has moved to a new location, only 5 minutes walk from the central station. Do feel free to drop in and visit us at Walchestrasse 9 where we will happily provide a demonstration of the hystrix medical marketplace!

14 December 2018

hystrix medical AG finishes the week with a new Evaluation Partner on board. We are pleased to welcome Weita AG!

7 December 2018

The number of participants on the hystrix medical marketplace continues to increase. We welcome DQ Surgical and Finn Technologies to become a part of the hub of healthcare market information in Switzerland!

4 December 2018

hystrix medical AG – Startup of the month November

After just our first month being live, hystrix medical AG is honoured to be announced as the Startup of the Month by the Swiss Medtech Association. This announcement recognises the value and efficiencies that we bring to both Healthcare Providers and Medtech Suppliers through our online marketplace being the hub of healthcare market information. Reach out to us directly to understand how you too can join the first digital healthcare marketplace in Switzerland and benefit from being part of it. Let’s “connect the dots” together!

Meet Us – Upcoming Events

Sels, Winterthur

Postponed, 2021